Pirate Girl (part 2 of 3)
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||blazed, convent, crowed, deals, donne, famed, farce, flush, indifferent, instantly, martial, meanly, newcomer, pawn, ruthless, snarled
||New Orleans, United States, Andrew Jackson, General Jackson, Jean Lafitte, Pirate Girl, Had Grande Terre, If Lafitte, Captain Lafitte, Mon Capitan
Pirate Girl (part 2 of 3)
By Toni Lee Robinson
1 The city was on edge. News had reached even inside the quiet walls of the convent. The British were coming! It was feared they planned to burn New Orleans. Their troops were over 12,000 strong. Who could stand against such a force?
2 The gulf city was now a part of the United States. It had become a pawn in America's second war with Britain. Little support could be spared from the north. U.S. leaders had left the problem in the hands of Andrew Jackson. "Old Hickory" was sent to defend the city.
3 General Jackson was known as a ruthless man. The city was as much afraid of the general as they were of the British. Jackson hated the British. People feared he would burn the city himself rather than let it fall. The general's first move was not reassuring. He had clamped New Orleans in the tight grip of martial law.
4 Celia Claiborne's father was governor of Louisiana. Celia was one of the girls who had mocked Elise. In chapel, Celia's group sat near the front. Elise, slightly behind them, heard their whispers. "The general is a bully!" Celia hissed to her friends.
5 "Now he's making deals with pirates!" she shrilled. "Jackson's gone in with Jean Lafitte and his bandits. He's promised Lafitte a pardon! The pirates will be armed. They're supposed to be fighting the British. God knows what will happen! We could all be murdered in our beds!" The girls gasped. Heads turned. The sisters frowned.
6 "Lafitte is a criminal." Celia insisted. "Father sent men to flush the rat out. They burned his lair to the ground," she crowed. "That island will never be a den of thieves again!" She smiled meanly. "Poor Pirate Girl," she crooned, turning to look at Elise. "I'm afraid she'll have to find a new home." All the girls turned to stare.
7 Elise stared back. She kept her face smooth and indifferent. Inside, she was faint with fear. What had they done to her home? Had Grande Terre really been burned? What about the village people she had known? Were they burned out? Dead?
8 The questions shrieked inside her head. Her face remained a stony mask. She must not show weakness. She stared back at Celia and her friends. "Silly geese," she thought. If Lafitte was helping defend the city, they should be grateful.
9 Elise would never forget the first time she'd seen the famed pirate king. She had been four. She and her father had been mending nets on the beach. A tall man in a funny hat strode up. Instantly she knew. He was one of the pirate men! A bunch of them had moved to the island. "Captain Lafitte sends for you, sir," the man had said. He took off his hat and bowed low.
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